The European Parliament backed a resolution this week to declare the high Arctic region of the North Pole as an environmental sanctuary! The proposed sanctuary would encompass over 2.8 million square kilometers of the Arctic, protecting this precious area from fossil fuel exploration.

This project is an initiative of Greenpeace Norway that was made possible by the support of over five million people. This area of the Arctic is part of the “global commons” and up until now has been classified as the least protected area on Earth.

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Not only does this resolution create an environmental sanctuary that will protect native wildlife and vital ice formations, but it includes measures to end fishing in the Arctic high seas as well as a provision that bans pollution from ships and oil rigs.

Preserving the Arctic region is integral to mitigating the effects of climate change. If the world’s companies are allowed to drill for oil and exploit the Arctic ecosystems, this delicate environment will not be able to survive. This proposal is a giant leap towards a better future for the Arctic’s natural systems and sets the trend for more positive climate action.

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